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Paramount Studios presents
Star Trek: The Original Series—Volume #3 (1966)

"Vulcan has no moon, Miss Uhura."
- First Officer/Science Officer Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy)

Review By: Dale Dobson   
Published: November 16, 2001

Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley
Other Stars: George Takei, James Doohan, Majel Barrett
Director: Marc Daniels

Manufacturer: PDSC
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (moderate violence, adult themes)
Run Time: 01h:40m:44s
Release Date: October 19, 1999
UPC: 097366000379
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B+B+B+ D

DVD Review



"Stop thinking with your glands!"—Captain James T. Kirk

Star Trek: The Original Series—Volume #3, Episode #6

The Man Trap
Stardate: 1513.1
Airdate: September 8, 1966
Directed by: Marc Daniels
Red-Shirt Body Count: 4

The U.S.S. Enterprise makes a stop at planet M113 in order to conduct a routine medical examination of Robert Crater (Alfred Ryder) and his wife Nancy (Jeanne Bal), residents of the planet's scientific outpost. Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) was once romantically involved with Nancy Crater, and he is surprised to see she hasn't aged a bit. Meanwhile, Captain Kirk (William Shatner) sees in Nancy a different woman altogether, and a younger crew member along for the landing sees a seductive blonde. When the young man turns up dead with odd markings on his face, an investigation begins—but before the truth comes out, more of Kirk's men are killed, and a deadly shape-shifting creature is loose on the enterprise, seeking salt and seducing men and women alike.

This was one of the first Trek episodes to benefit from solid man-in-a-suit creature work—the "salt vampire" monster revealed at the end of the episode is hideous and credible enough to justify the build-up. Its shape-shifting nature is nicely depicted with multiple actors and simple dissolves, as well as one very slow pan which enables DeForest Kelley to reposition himself while the camera is moving, giving the impression of Dr. McCoy's doppelganger looking at the sleeping original. The episode also features an interesting ecological dilemma—Crater knows it's a dangerous impostor, but it's the last of its breed, and he attempts to protect it as long as he can. Crusty Dr. McCoy also gets to show a softer side, so deeply affected by his past love for Nancy that he is unable to pull the phaser trigger on the monster that has assumed her image, even to save his own life. This episode also shows us more of the day-to-day life of crew members aboard the Enterprise than is seen on later episodes, including a charming glimpse of Sulu (George Takei) relaxing in his personal quarters, and Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) flirtatiously attempting to break through the cold Vulcan exterior of Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy).

Random Notes and Amusements: There are apparently no bathrooms or blankets aboard the Enterprise... Sulu's botany collection includes a lively plant that is obviously a five-fingered glove puppet in one shot... the visible aftereffects of the creature's attack resemble hickies or a case of really bad acne... Dr. McCoy's "sleeping pills" appear to be Red Hots... Kirk admonishes Dr. McCoy to "Stop thinking with your glands!", a phrase which more readily applies to Kirk's own conduct (and which surely benefits immensely from a certain consonant in the eyes of NBC Standards and Practices...)

This episode rates 4 out of 5 Enterprises:




"Could be some form of space madness we've never heard of."—Mr. Spock

Star Trek: The Original Series—Volume #3, Episode #7

The Naked Time
Stardate: 1704.2
Airdate: September 29, 1966
Directed by: Marc Daniels
Red-Shirt Body Count: 1

The Enterprise orbits a planet expected to self-destruct in the very near future. When a landing party descends to evacuate a party of research scientists, they discover a frozen, Pompeii-esque scene, the corpses of the research team preserved in unusual attitudes. When an inexperienced crew member becomes contaminated with an odd fluid planetside, a contagious insanity begins to overtake the Enterprise. Mr. Sulu fancies himself a musketeer, Lieutenant Kevin Riley (Stewart Moss) becomes a power-mad Irish menace, and Mr. Spock finds himself overtaken by long-suppressed emotions after Nurse Chapel (Majel Barrett) confesses her love for him while under the influence of the bizarre syndrome. Dr. McCoy comes up with a cure for the condition, but not before the Enterprise is forced into a decaying orbit on a collision course with the doomed planet below.

This episode features a nice mixture of comedy and crisis—the exuberant antics of the space-mad crew members are entertaining, but also extremely dangerous to the welfare of the ship. Leonard Nimoy does a very nice job of depicting Spock's emotional breakdown—the effects initially resemble a bout with indigestion, but as Spock descends into frightening depths of regret and unaccustomed emotional intensity, Nimoy pulls out all the stops without losing the character in the process. The second-string crew members also get more to do in this episode, as spare personnel are called into bridge duty while the contagious dementia spreads.

Random Notes and Amusements: The incompetent, disposable landing party crew member in this episode not only takes off his protective hazard-suit glove at the worst possible moment, but then proceeds to put his naked, blood-contaminated hand UNDER his mask to inspect it... crew members are shown playing "Space Checkers," an off-the-shelf 3-D checkers game apparently more popular in the Trek universe than it was in our own... Mr. Sulu goes topless during his sabre-wielding episode... the bridge appears to be populated with spare crew members, hanging around and ready to take over as one key player after another goes down... Lt. Riley only knows a few Irish songs, but continues to sing them loudly and badly through most of the episode, presaging Barney the Dinosaur to a frightening degree...

This episode rates 3 out of 5 Enterprises:



Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Star Trek continues to impress in the digital format. The series was shot and edited on film, and Paramount's DVD takes full advantage of the fact, presenting the shows in their original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratios with clarity surely unseen when they were originally broadcast. Optical effects composite shots are visibly grainy and dirty, with some digital compression noise in spots, but color is strong and detail is solid, to the point that it sometimes reveals the relatively low-budget nature of the sets and costumes. Both source prints are quite clean and solid, with just a few damage flecks here and there. Paramount continues to preserve one of their most valuable entertainment assets with style and quality; excellent work.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Paramount supplies Star Trek: TOS, Volume 3 with a remixed Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. It's dignified as remixes go, adding some directional "whooshes" to the opening credits and some atmospheric background sounds to a few scenes aboard the Enterprise. Dialogue is centered, with music spread subtly around the soundstage, and the digital master sounds fine, crisp and clear with little hiss or distortion, though the frequency range is naturally limited by the age of the material. Purists may object, but the 5.1 remix is in keeping with the flavor of the show, and not too gimmicky for my tastes.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 14 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
2 TV Spots/Teasers
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Star Trek Volume 3 features few on-disc extras, though the keepcase insert provides a few trivia notes. The disc features English subtitles, 14 chapter stops (7 picture-menu stops for each of the two episodes), and "Star Trek Next Voyage" episode previews. The one-minute preview clips tend to be fairly dirty, damaged and just slightly faded, but they're interesting historical artifacts. Given the stature of the series, it's a pity more information on the episodes at hand was not included.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

If you're bothering to read this review, you probably haven't sampled Paramount's solid Star Trek: The Original Series on DVD. The series has never looked better, and while two episodes per disc might seem a bit stingy, the price is reasonable for two 50-minute programs. Hardcore Trek fans will want a complete collection, and even casual fans will want to check out the high-quality presentation. Recommended.

 


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